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A Heart Wide Open- Chapter 2

Chapter 2- It's not as Bad as it Seems
Kurt learns it's not as bad as it seems. The McKinley kids share their experiences.

Chapter 1
Chapter 3

When Kurt begins to regain consciousness he thinks he feels Blaine’s hand, familiar and warm, in his. However, when he opens his eyes, the first thing he sees is Finn’s face again. He thinks he hears his dad saying his name.

“Am I dead now too?” he whispers to Finn.

“Too?” Finn asks; his expression twists in confusion. “Who died?”

“Carole called me; she couldn’t reach you on the phone and told me about the shooting at the school,” Kurt explains. He looks up at Finn and shakes his head a little. “But you’re really here though.” He sits up and reaches out to touch Finn; make sure he is real. “Everyone was here when I got here. They hugged me. Their eyes were red; like they’d been crying. Carole and Dads’ too.”

“You thought I had died?” Finn whispers- his voice sounds strange to Kurt and his eyes are wide.

Kurt nods. “I’m really glad you didn’t.”

Finn cracks one of his half smiles at Kurt. “Me too, dude.”

“Everyone is fine,” Carole says. “Sam, Blaine, and the girls are still a bit shook up from the experience. They don’t want to be apart right now, so Burt and I thought we’d offer to make dinner for everyone. This way they could spend time together, and us adults can be near them, and also talk to each other about what happened today.” Carole gestures behind Kurt. “It was a very intense day.”

Kurt turns his head and realizes the Hudson-Hummel living room is packed with not just his family, and his four friends but also with the Andersons, the Pierces and The Cohen-Changs. He nods in silent hello at everyone.

“Sam’s family are driving up from Kentucky; they’ll be here later tonight,” Burt explains. “We weren’t exactly expecting you or Finn.”

“But we’ll make it work,” Carole says softly.

“I can go back to the dorms,” Finn says.

“You’ll do no such thing, Finn Hudson,” Carole admonishes. “Not after scaring me like that today. Like I said, we’ll figure it out later.”


Once Burt and Carole are sure Kurt is ok, the parents all filter back into the dining room where they continue drinking their coffee and eating the pie Mrs. Pierce brought over. The teens all settle in the living room, to watch a movie. Finn and Kurt each sit on the sofa, and Blaine plops down in between them; which is not all that different from the last year. Sam settles on the floor in front of Blaine and pulls Brittany and Tina each to one of his sides. Finn’s leg gets sandwiched between Brittany and Sam. Tina leans back, snuggling in between Kurt and Blaine’s legs and under Sam’s arm.

“I’m glad you were safe too, Finn,” Brittany whispers as she nuzzles his knee.

They are quiet, but Finn wonders what their experience was like in the choir room. “It must have been comforting at least, that you guys were all together right?”

Sam snorts softly.

“We weren’t though,” Blaine says, turning to look at Finn. “Sam and I were in the choir room with most of the others and Mr. Schue and Coach Bieste.”

“I had gone to get something from my car, and I was locked out of the school,” Tina says sadly.

“I was in the bathroom,” Brittany says. “I put my feet up on the toilet and crouched to stay hidden by the stalls. It was scary, and my legs were shaking from fear and for how long I was in that position.”

“Oh,” Finn exclaims softly, “I didn’t know.”

“I wanted to come after you,” Sam says to Brittany. “But Mr. Schue and Coach wouldn’t let me.” He leans in and strokes her cheek softly before pressing a chaste kiss to her lips.

“I completely shut down,” Blaine says softly. “I curled in on myself and wanted to hide. I didn’t want to think; I didn’t want to feel anything.”

“Mr. Schue found me, and a couple of others, in the bathroom,” Brittany says. “I was so afraid when I first heard the door open. I was sure it was the shooter or one of the shooters. I could hear shoes clicking against the floor, and I just started to cry, but I tried to stay quiet.” Brittany begins to sob softly. “Then I heard Mr. Schue whisper my name and I almost fell over with relief. I opened the door to the stall and just hugged him.”

Finn looks over at Kurt, who has been eerily quiet. He is sitting stiffly on his end of the sofa, his eyes glimmering with unshed tears. Finn reaches along the back of the sofa, behind Blaine’s shoulders, and puts his hand on Kurt’s shoulder, squeezing gently. Kurt looks up at Finn and tilts his head to rest his cheek against his shoulder, on Finn’s hand. Finn turns his hand over, gently cupping Kurt’s cheek, brushing his thumb over Kurt’s cheek bone. Kurt closes his eyes fully, his lashes fluttering against his cheek and when he opens them again, Finn’s thumb wipes away the tears that fall silently.

“When they finally let me back in the school, I ran to the choir room,” Tina admits.

“I was so glad to see you walk in Tee,” Blaine says softly. He reaches out and runs his hand through her silky raven hair. “I’m glad you weren’t in the school. Although we didn’t know where you were, but I’m glad you were always safe.”

“What about you, Dude?” Sam asks. “Where were you?”

Finn startles slightly as everyone turns to look him. He pulls his hand from Kurt’s cheek, not that anyone appears to have noticed. “I was in the auditorium. I heard the shots and honestly it took me a minute to realize that wasn’t something I should hear at school.” Finn grimaces a little. “I guess maybe I’m a little used to gunshots from the little bit of time I spent at boot camp.”

Sam and Blaine nod in unison; it seems like a valid enough reason.
Finn rubs at the back of his neck nervously. “I dropped to the ground and tried as best I could to wedge myself in under a row of the seats.” He chuckles softly, “I kinda had the opposite problem as you Blaine. I couldn’t stop thinking. I couldn’t get my brain to stop thinking. I thought about so many things.”

“Like what?” Brittany asks. She’s petting his leg, probably aware that she is doing so, as if it were her cat.

“Everything,” Finn sighs. “I thought about football, about Glee club, my time at boot camp. I thought about Burt’s garage and college.” Finn looks around, meeting everyone’s eyes briefly. “I thought about everyone; my family- the people I chose as my family, especially….” Finn exhales loudly, trailing off his thought, letting them all finish the sentence how they want. Chances are; none of them would even suspect whom Finn had really thought of while he huddled under the row of seats in the auditorium. So hearing their stories, especially Brittany and Sam’s, makes Finn feel guilty for hiding and not going to help. He’s glad no one has questioned why he hid.

Kurt picks up the remote and starts the movie then, and everyone settles back in their spots. Finn can’t help but continue to steal glances at Kurt and wish Blaine wasn’t sitting between them. There is something that just seems off with Kurt, and Finn just wants to fix it; fix him. Sometimes Kurt catches Finn looking and offers him a weak smile, but it seems heartless and cold. Kurt is detached even when Blaine’s hand falls on his thigh and strokes it softly around the middle part of the movie. Watching them out of the corner of his eye, Finn thinks it’s possible Blaine doesn’t even realize he is doing it. Especially since Blaine’s other hand is resting on Sam’s head and carding through the blonde’s hair.


“Since Mom and Burt are putting Sam’s parents in Kurt’s old room, and Stevie and Stacey in Sam’s room, I thought we could all pile in my room,” Finn suggests to Sam and Kurt, “like at a hotel during competitions.”

“Maybe I’ll just bunk in with Stevie and Stacey,” Sam says. “They seem a little shook up. They might have nightmares, and it’d be better if I was there to help calm them down in the middle of the night.”
Finn nods in understanding, but it’s not like he’s ever had siblings. Unless he counts Puck or well, Kurt. And Finn isn’t the one that almost lost a sibling today; that’s Kurt.

“I guess that leaves just you and me, Kurt,” Finn says as he wraps an arm around Kurt’s shoulders. Kurt looks at Finn’s hand curled around the top of his arm; then turns and blinks up at Finn like he doesn’t understand why Finn is holding onto him.

“Burt’s got a couple of sleeping bags and extra blankets and here I have some extra pillows,” Carole offers. Finn grabs a blanket and a pillow, plus a sleeping bag just to be safe.

“I’m going to bunk in with Stevie and Stacey,” Sam explains. He takes a couple of pillows and a sleeping bag.

Carole nods. “Kurt, maybe you should get anything you need out of your room that you might need, before Mr. & Mrs. Evans turn in for the night.”

Kurt looks at Carole wide eyed for a moment before he blinks and shakes his head. “Yeah, I should do that I guess.” He knocks softly on his door, and then opens the door and goes in to collect some of his things.

“Kurt seems a little… off,” Finn whispers to Carole.

Carole pats her son’s shoulder. “He’s probably just exhausted Finn. He had a full day of classes and then he got the news and flew home and drove himself up from Dayton.”

Finn nods, “You’re probably right. I’m sure he’ll be fine tomorrow once he gets some sleep.”

“Exactly,” Carole says.

Finn hugs his mom. “Night mom, love you.”

Carole looks up at her son and smiles, her eyes shining. “I love you too, Finn. Good night.”

Finn goes into his room and sets up the sleeping bag, pillow and blanket he grabbed on the floor between the bed and the wall. He closed his door and took off his jeans and boxers, replacing them with a pair of pajama pants. As he’s removing his shirt and sweater, there’s a knock on the door.

“Finn?” Kurt’s voice is soft through the door.

“Yeah, come in,” Finn says, as he shrugs out of the shoulders of his shirt and lays it over his desk chair with his jeans and sweater. He grabs his tee shirt to pull on but looks up when he hears Kurt squeak.

“Sorry,” Kurt mumbles as he looks away and shuts the door behind himself.

Finn laughs softly. “Its ok, I said come in.”

“I could have waited a minute for you to finish dressing,” Kurt says, his eyes still downcast.

“It’s not a big deal,” Finn shrugs. He sits down on the bed and kicks at Kurt’s shin.

Kurt looks up at Finn and gives him half of a smile. “I didn’t even go back to the loft and pack. I brought nothing with me.”

“Do you want something of mine to sleep in?” Finn offers.

“No, I’ve got stuff here, thankfully,” Kurt says. “And maybe I realized that, I don’t know. I was on auto-pilot I guess.”

“Hopefully your plane wasn’t,” Finn tries to joke. However, Kurt doesn’t even smile.

“I should go change,” Kurt says as he gestures to Finn’s bathroom and walks over, his arms full of stuff.

The bathroom door opens more quickly than Finn had anticipated; Kurt now wearing a pair of pajama pants and an old McKinely high tee that Finn is pretty sure used to be his. Kurt doesn’t leave the bathroom though; he stands at the sink and begins to wash his face. Finn leans back on his arms on the bed, watching Kurt.

“Do you come home much?” Kurt asks.

“Probably not as much as mom would like,” Finn replies. “I come for dinner or when I need some advice, but I don’t usually spend the night.”

Kurt grimaces. “What are the chances that your sheets are clean?”

Finn leans over and sniffs at the duvet cover. “It smells clean.”

“Rachel’s glad your ok, by the way,” Kurt says. “She called wondering where I was earlier.”

“You didn’t even call her before you left?” Finn asks.

“It didn’t even occur to me to let anyone know,” Kurt says. “Rachel’s call led to a couple of emails to my profs and a quick call to Isabelle, who was very understanding.”

“When did all of this happen?”

“You guys were in the backyard seeing who could spit sunflower seed husks the farthest,” Kurt says.

Finn nods, “Oh yeah, I remember your phone ringing, and you disappeared for a while.”

“Yes, well, in hindsight, I probably should have thought of letting someone know before I got on an airplane,” Kurt explains.

“I probably would have done the same thing,” Finn says. He stands up and walks over to the bathroom, leaning against the door frame. “If I had gotten a call or heard about a shooting or a gunman at NYADA, in Bushwick, or at Vogue, I would have left for New York right away.”

Kurt looks up at Finn then, for a moment. Then he shakes his head and looks back at his reflection, smoothing cream onto his face.

“I should probably brush my teeth while I’m up,” Finn says as he moves to stand beside Kurt at the sink. He knocks Kurt’s shoulder gently with his own, and smiles when he sees Kurt make eye contact with him in the mirror. It feels a little intimate and domestic to stand at the sink with Kurt. Finn feels it tingle through his veins. Finn finishes brushing his teeth and walks back into his bedroom and stretches out on the sleeping bag on the floor.

When Kurt returns to the room, he stops short. “I didn’t mean to kick you out of your own bed.”

“You’ve had a long day, with classes and traveling,” Finn says. “I can’t make you sleep on the floor. And the bed is hardly big enough for me, let alone you and me both.”

“If you’re sure,” Kurt says. He walks over and turns off the overhead light before he climbed into the bed.

“I’m sure. Good night, Kurt.”

“Thanks,” Kurt says softly. “Good night, Finn.”